by Hannah Dow



LAST NIGHT I DREAMT   of wings. I dreamt that you
refused to use words and echoed sounds I could not hear,
in a pulse I could not feel. Beloved:

if I had found a way to make you see
that I was not your prey, you could have searched
for me the way you forage nectar and
forestalled the sequent deafening you felt.




The most common mistake among my clients is that of choice. They tell me when it came time to choosing a partner, they wanted someone who would love them forever. Someone to raise children with. Someone they could talk to, someone who could make them laugh, be their best friend. Someone they could trust. Someone who got them. What they didn’t consider is that forever is a long time. After a mere twenty years, children begin to raise themselves. And once you are dead, it no longer matters who you wake up next to or whether you are laughing. What most clients do not realize is that you are dead much longer than you are alive, and what matters most is whose name appears adjacent to yours on a tombstone and whether you will agree on an epitaph, because what is written in stone is written in stone.


HANNAH DOW is a PhD student in English/Creative Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Red Booth Review, and Minetta Review.



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